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China arrests two for trade in "illegal materials"

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, Oct 26 (Reuters) Two Chinese nationals were arrested this month for illegally trading in dangerous materials, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said today when asked about a report the two were held for dealing in enriched uranium.

The two were arrested on October 16 in Fengtai, a suburb of Beijing, spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news conference.

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper said on Tuesday that Chinese police arrested two ethnic Koreans in September at a Beijing hotel for trying to sell enriched uranium, the material used in making nuclear bombs.

The arrests came as countries begin implementing sanctions against North Korea in punishment for its October 9 nuclear test.

U S President George W Bush has also warned that North Korea would face a ''grave consequence'' if it tried to sell nuclear arms and said Washington would use whatever means necessary to stop such a weapons transfer.

Liu could not confirm the ethnicity of the two men, surnamed Zhang and Ding, and did not specify what dangerous materials they were trafficking or their origin.

REUTERS DKB BS1429

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